Studies show that most who take glucosamine and chondroitin supplements do so to potentially achieve relief or as a preventative measure to keep joints supple as they age. Osteoarthritis or chronic joint pain can happen at any age, but it’s most common among older people.
Some of the potential benefits may include:
Management of Osteoarthritis
This condition causes joint pain because of cartilage degeneration and inflammation, especially in the knees and hip joints. Glucosamine and chondroitin may help chronic pain sufferers to rebuild cartilage and connective tissue or to slow degeneration in joints.
A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials or RCTs published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that those taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements experienced a considerable reduction in pain levels.
Study participants with osteoarthritis in their knees indicated they had a greater range of motion and knee function when taking glucosamine and chondroitin. Researchers found, however, that benefits from the supplements were more pronounced in those experiencing moderate-to-severe pain.
Improve Eye Health
According to a recent study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Ophthalmology Department in 2019, researchers found that glycosaminoglycans significantly reduced intraocular pressure in glaucoma sufferers. While researchers find this result promising, more research is needed.
Reduce Irritable Bowel Syndrome
A recent study by the Department of Host Defense and Biochemical Research, Biomedical Research Center, Juntendo University, School of Medicine in Tokyo found that the anti-inflammatory properties of glucosamine acted to suppress colitis symptoms in rats.
Doctors have found that chronic inflammation plays a crucial role in the progression of osteoarthritis. Glucosamine supplementation acts to inhibit the production of tumor necrosis factors interleukin-1 beta and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. This action reduces levels of cartilage degradation so that the tissues can repair themselves.
Chondroitin is also a natural anti-inflammatory agent that inhibits enzymes that can also break down cartilage. Chondroitin helps to support cartilage and stimulate the activity of chondrocytes.
Taking both promotes the synthesis of collagen and the production of proteoglycans, which helps improve the lubrication and shock-absorbing properties of the components that our joints and connective tissues need to function correctly.
Improves Range of Motion and Maintains Joint Mobility
While some researchers are hesitant to acknowledge that this supplement can offer much beyond a placebo effect, many adults taking glucosamine and chondroitin supplements claim to have noticed not only a reduction of pain but also an improvement in their joint flexibility and range of motion.